Mainstream medicine seems to have given up on finding a safe and effective drug to control Alzheimer’s disease (AD). But more and more research is coming out all the time providing evidence that the natural cures for AD are hiding in plain sight.
Take the B vitamins, for example.
For years, I have been reporting on the importance of B vitamins for brain and nerve tissue. I feature them prominently in my new Complete Alzheimer’s Cure online learning protocol.
But as important as these Bs are for your brain (and heart) health, most Americans simply don’t get enough of them. Studies show people with carb-heavy or vegetarian diets are often especially low in B12, the so-called “energy vitamin” or “neuro-vitamin.” Foods with animal protein — such as cheese, eggs, fish, meat, milk — are the only reliable dietary sources of vitamin B12.
But aside from unbalanced diets, there are two main causes of low B12.
Common drugs block absorption of vitamin B12
As I often report, the Type II diabetes drug metformin can interfere with absorption of vitamin B12. Nevertheless, it is still the only diabetes drug I recommend. It is safe and effective for controlling diabetes and blood sugar as well as preventing all the eye, kidney, heart, and nerve problems associated with uncontrolled diabetes.
To counteract the B12 absorption problem, there is a simple solution: Take a high-quality B vitamin complex. Amazingly, some doctors still debate whether or not to recommend B12 vitamin supplementation to their patients taking metformin. Apparently, some of them would rather prescribe newer, toxic drugs to their diabetes patients rather than recommend taking a safe, proven drug with B12.
An entire class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPI) also causes low B12. Big Pharma makes a killing selling these drugs to men and women with acid reflux. But according to a major study I told you about two years ago, taking a PPI for an extended period blocks your body’s absorption of B12. In fact, men and women in the study who took a PPI were 65 percent more likely to have a B12 deficiency.
Your body actually NEEDS adequate stomach acids, the pepsin enzyme, and a gastric protein called intrinsic factor to release B12 from food matrix so it can be absorbed into the blood. But if you take a PPI, you neutralize these factors in the stomach, making it difficult to release and absorb vitamin B12, even when present in the diet.
Of course, simple aging can also neutralize these factors in your stomach, making it very difficult to absorb B12. In fact, some experts estimate that 10 to 30 percent of adults over age 50 produce too little stomach acid to release B12 from foods. And as people age, the percentage with deficiency increases.
The problem isn’t even limited to middle-aged and older adults.
Why everyone over the age of 25 should be taking Bs
Data from the famous Framingham Heart Study indicates that insufficient absorption of B12 from food may be common even among adults between the ages 26 and 49. (Of course, the Framingham Heart Study is now looking at B vitamins because they are so important for heart health.)
Over a century ago, doctors discovered that some people suffered from pernicious anemia, a deficiency of red blood cells. We now know this condition is an autoimmune disorder that causes loss of GI cells needed to absorb B12. Many experts now believe Mary Todd Lincoln, for example, suffered from this condition.
The important link between B12 and cognitive health
Dementia and cognitive impairment often accompany a B12 deficiency. Especially in the elderly.
In fact, in Europe, where they call the B vitamins “neuro-vitamins,” some experts now give B12 to Alzheimer’s patients to help protect many areas of the brain involved in the disease.
In a recent, two-year study at the University of Oxford, UK, researchers observed 270 people over 70 with mild cognitive impairment and low B12 levels. The patients given high doses of B12 suffered from less brain atrophy than their peers. Fortunately, they speak English in the UK; otherwise, we in the U.S. may never know about these important studies!
Symptoms of B12 deficiency include fatigue, tingling and numbness of hands and feet, and weak muscles and reflexes. In advanced cases, it can progress to confusion, dementia, and depression. You can reverse early symptoms with high doses of B12.
Typically, doctors give older patients 500 to 1,000 micrograms per day to improve these early symptoms. Doctors consider 5,000 micrograms per day to be too high a dose, and I agree. Doctors can also administer vitamin B12 by subcutaneous injection once or twice a week.
You can learn all about B vitamins as well as all the other natural, non-drug treatments to prevent and reverse Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in my new online learning protocol. Click here to find out more about it or to enroll today.
“Homocysteine-Lowering by B Vitamins Slows the Rate of Accelerated Brain Atrophy in Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” PLoS ONE (www. journals.plos.org) 9/8/2010